BREAKING THE CYCLE: ENGAGING MEN AND BOYS FOR PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY AND ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

The ERASMUS+ project ​Breaking the Cycle: Engaging men and boys for promoting gender equality and ending violence against women aims to encourage men and young boys to engage in gender equality and in the elimination of gender-based violence and to create an advocacy strategy by and for young people to follow this aim. Moreover, the project’s objective is to emphasize the need of including men and young boys in the strive for eliminating violence against women and to raise transnational awareness of men’s and boy’s role in gender issues. The project will take place from December 1, 2018 until January 31, 2020 and will consist of diverse activities which will be hosted by seven organizations around the world. The project activities include, inter alia, seminars, research in the field of youth of engaging men in gender equality, a study visit, the creation of an advocacy toolkit, a training for youth and youth workers, local workshops and an E-learning course. Outcomes resulting from the Breaking the Cycle project will be, amongst others, training methods for youth workers in the field of gender-based violence (GBV), innovative methods of fighting GVB by engaging men and boys, methods fostering young people’s key competencies in advocacy and the advocacy tool kit for youth.

Samoa Victim Support Group

The Breaking the Cycle project started with an initial meeting which was hosted by the Samoa Victim Support Group’s (SVSG) in January 2019 where Jens, founder of Emancipator, participated in. The Samoa Victim Support Group’s mission is to provide individualized and professional service to crime victims like domestic violence, harassment at the workplace or other crimes connected to poverty. The SVSG Juniors consist of a team of young mentors who act as ambassadors for the youth in their community in order to prevent and eliminate diverse crimes. Next to the initial meeting, the organization is responsible for recruiting participants and their formation, developing the advocacy and research strategy and for local workshops and a press media conference.

For more information about the event hosted by the Samoa Victim Support Group read this article and moreover, the article about and how violence can be prevented through changing our mindsets about masculinity which was also published on the website samoaobserver.ws.

Photos of the initial meeting in Samoa

Center for Health and Social Justice

After the intital meeting, the Center for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ) will organize a three-day seminar which will take place in New Delhi, India, from the 12th until the 14th of March 2019. CHSJ works on policy issues related to social justice. Their primarily objective is to strengthen governance and accountability in the domains of health justice and gender justice, by promoting networking, capacity building, research and evidence based advocacy. The seminar provides participants the opportunity to exchange knowledge and to learn about methodologies which are used by different organizations working with men and boys on the issue of gender-based violence. Through this, the seminar enables participants to bring theory into practice through using the contemporary understanding of gender, social theory and intervention science. After the seminar, each organisations will conduct their own anthropological research, which will be compiled with the other countries to gain an understanding of the problem in different contexts and to find the methodology which showed the most effective results. Next to the seminar, CHSJ will organize campaigns, recruit and train participants, participate in meeting and activities, develop the advocacy strategy/research and toolkit, develop and implement the local workshop and the media conference. Finally, it will be in charge of the E-learning course. Currently, Hannah from the Emancipator team is attending the seminar in New Delhi and will soon share her experience with us.

Emancipator

After the research is done, a peer-review will be organized to give participants insights about how specialised institutions and organizations actively work in youth advocacy and on engaging men and boys for gender equality. This will be organized through a study visit which will be hosted by Emancipator in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on the 7th until the 13th of May 2019. The Study Visit will include team building activities, excursions and events to connect the participants with other Dutch organizations which work on project related issues like Atria and the Blijf Group. Stakeholders will get the chance to learn about effective development practices from their peers. Moreover, the participants will develop the frame for the advocacy toolkit which will be the first step of its creation. The advocacy toolkit will consist of innovative approaches to advocacy in youth through providing practical tools and guidance for developing and implementing an advocacy strategy.

Foundation for Innovative Social Development

The Foundation for Innovative Social Development (FISD) is a non-governmental organization based in Sri Lanka. The organization works to improve the standard of living of the local population. Their main areas of interest are the protection and promotion of child rights, the enhancement of women and development – with special emphasis put on the prevention of gender-based violence – and the prevention of drugs and alcohol.  

Like the other organizations, FISD will recruit and train participants, participate in meetings and activities, develop the advocacy strategy/research and toolkit and develop and implement local workshops and the media conference. Moreover, the organization will, together with Youth First, implement a training for the participants in Sri Lanka in August/September this year. The training aims to provide an understanding of the role of men and boys in gender justice and which strategies can be implemented to engage them in these issues. After this training, participants will be able to conduct their own programs and workshops in their communities.

Youth First 

Youth First is non-profit organization, based in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The organization works to empower youth and young women by offering them the space and skills to build their future and to develop their full potential. The leadership program, geared at young women who have been victims of violence or human trafficking, promotes women economic empowerment and encourage their participation in development policies and program aiming at improving their lives.

As part of Breaking the Circle, Youth First will help to organize the training in Sri Lanka, recruit and train participants, participate in meeting and activities, develop the advocacy strategy/research and toolkit, create and implement local workshops and the media conference and conduct research in Madagascar. The result of these activities will be spread across the country through partner organizations and national institutions.

Diputación Provincial de Cáceres 

Càceres Deputy is the govern authority and regional administration in the province of Càceres, Spain. The main role of the organization is to provide services to the population living in rural areas that cannot be managed by municipalities. The Càceres Deputy pays particular attention to gender equality issues, since it develops and implements several social projects and involves the population in promoting real and effective equality between women and men.

Càceres Deputy will facilitate the connection between youth organizations with their public institutions. Like the other participants, it will contribute to all the components of Breaking the Circle. Most importantly, it will organize the Youth Event together with Cerujovi which objective is to give youth a platform to demonstrate their diverse interests, skills and ideas in promoting gender equality.

Centro Rural Joven Vida

Cerujovie is a non-profit organization based in Cáceres, Spain which encourages young generations to fight for a more equal and tolerant society for individuals in marginalized positions. Amongst these are especially women who experience gender-based violence and social exclusion.

Within the Breaking the Cycle project, the organization holds financial and administrative responsibility for the project and secures its quality through coordinating and realizing the project according to agreed standards and through facilitating the exchange between partner organizations. Moreover, Cerujovi will lead the Youth Event, the evaluation meeting in Cáceres in November/December 2019 and the website of the project. The evaluation meeting aims to summarize and evaluate the Breaking the Cycle project, which includes a reflection on its program and the activities.

After the Youth Event and the evaluation meeting, a press media meeting will take place in which all participants will prepare a conference where they will disseminate the products and results of the project and adjust the aims and outcomes to each language and context.

Any comments or questions about the Breaking the Cycle? Then feel free to contact us under breakingthecycle@emancipator.nl.